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 Post subject: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:08 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Chicagoland
Hi Folks,

I am thinking about a fish finder and am very very new to boat electronics. I saw one by Garmin called a "Garmin Echo 300C". It was recommended by the man at Bass Pro. However, when I told him it was for a kayak, he looked at me like I was from outer space. It has a 3.5" display and is color.

Any thoughts?
Marty


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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 1988
Location: High Point, NC
I have no less than a half dozen FF on kayaks here. The Garmin Echo 300 is my favorite far and away. Crisp, bright, and accurate. Easy to use. Outstanding unit in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:10 am
Posts: 21
Lowrance Lowrance Lowrance.

Elite 7 HDi or if you wanna save some Money Elite 5 DSI.


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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:43 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Satellite Beach, Florida
The Garmin is about $195 and the Lowrance Elite 5 DSI is about $495 to compare them is apples and oranges. Most people don't need a $500 depth finder and for them the Garmin is a great piece of hardware for the money. The better question is can the Garmin be mounted using the built-in Lowrance setup. Anyone know?


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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:18 pm
Posts: 97
Take a look at Humminbird fishing buddy! You don't have to deal with charging/storing/loading batteries. You also don't have to deal with mounting transducers! They use AA batteries that last quite a few trips. It also has verticle plus side imaging. What I also like about it is it is super mobile. I attach mine next to my seat and it's ready to go! They come in black/white or colored monitors. I paid around $175 for my B&W.


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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:19 am 
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Herk wrote:
The Garmin is about $195 and the Lowrance Elite 5 DSI is about $495 to compare them is apples and oranges. Most people don't need a $500 depth finder and for them the Garmin is a great piece of hardware for the money. The better question is can the Garmin be mounted using the built-in Lowrance setup. Anyone know?


I can agree with this If he had a cheapo $500 kayak, however we are talking about $3,000 hobies here. Its kind of like if you had a brand new Ferrari - are you going to put 87 from Costco in it or 91 chevron? I just think its best to do it right if you're Gunna do it, you get what you pay for. Either way I'm sure you'll be happy though if you've never used a newer fishfinder they will all be nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:39 am 
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Posts: 96
It really just depends on what you want to do with it....if it is your first one it might be a good idea to start cheap, like a Hummingbird 170. Then you can upgrade to better models later.

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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:47 am
Posts: 184
Location: Florida's Treasure Coast.
Was always a fan of Humminbird electronics, but have several friends that swear by Lowrance....so I just gave them a try, have yet to install as the unit just arrived yesterday.
Perfect unit for the 2013 PA's as it is an almost no-drill install (except for unit's mount). Image

Lowrance Mark-4 Fishfinder/GPS on sale at Academy for $150 w/Free S&H.
http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/store ... N=97008256

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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 1988
Location: High Point, NC
I have both the Garmin and the Lowrance DSI (4). The Garmin, in my opinion, is hands down a better unit. Brighter, clearer screen, easier to use, no glare, fantastic arch marking.

The DSI system is totally different, of course, but until something is done about the poor screen and no auto depth, mine has been relegated to the shelf.


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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:08 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Chicagoland
I definitely have some additional homework ahead of me. I am going through all of the catalogs and glad that some of the one's I am penciling in are recommended by all of you.

Please do not hesitate to include any additional recommendations.


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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:29 pm
Posts: 12
Totally comes down to your budget. But you can't go too big and you do want more technology to maximize your time on the water. As stated earlier, for the price of a ProAngler a decent gps/sonar unit is appropriate. If you're hardcore about fishing then you'll be hardcore about your sonar.

The real question should be whether or not to add SideImaging? :mrgreen:

Check out the HDS10 on the lowrance PA w/structure scan.
http://www.panbo.com/archives/2012/03/l ... tform.html
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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 218
I have had the Eagle Cuda 300 (Lowrance-based), Elite 5 DSI and now the Elite 4 DSI and can say that I have never had a single problem with mine. The readings have been crystal clear and the depths accurate (even using the AUTO setting) in both fresh and salt water.

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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:54 pm
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The new Raymarine Dragonfly chirp downscan is looking real nice


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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:06 pm
Posts: 69
Whatever floats your boat, or kayak. Everyone's needs and budget are certainly different. I started with a Lowrance X-135 on my PA-14 and decided I wanted GPS capability after a kayak trip to Florida, so I went with a Humminbird 798cSI. I am upgrading again having just purchased an 898cSI HD 'bird with a bigger, easier to read screen. Sonar and GPS are as important on a kayak as they are on a bigger boat, so buy what best suits your fishing requirements and budget.

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 Post subject: Re: Fish Finders
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:16 pm
Posts: 158
Location: vero beach, fl
it can almost be a chevy vs ford debate. in many cases there is just a lot of brand support simply because it is what someone has used before. and this is a valid argument. if you are accustomed to the menus on a particular brand, then it just makes sense that you will find that unit easier to use than any other.

with only a few manufacturers making quality gps/fishfinder/bottom machines, it certainly is like ford, dodge and chevy--each one is a great quality piece of equipment, within the limitations of the particular model.

i have to remind everyone looking at equipment at BPS or West Marine or wherever you are shopping. please understand an icon of a 'fish' or an 'arc' is absolutely not always a reflector of an actual fish. the units that have cute little fish icons, might better be left for kids to play with. if the unit senses any reflector--could be a fish, could be weeds, could be an odd current or thermocline--any reflector that that is not attached to the bottom, will be displayed as a cute little fish.
and arcs--that can be very 1980's. while there is some validity in the technology and algorithm used to display 'arcs' as true reflectors, technology has advanced in recent years. first, it has to be unattached, and then changes in velocity of the ultrasound will be calculated as a true reflector. the unit then displays it as the tell-tale arc. its math, and software. they could make it look like a smiley face, a duck or a little fish picture. but, for last years technology, it works pretty well.
technology has advanced so far beyond that now. modern DSI units--of each brand, provide images that are near medical quality. it is amazing.
the best advice i can give is to keep using and learning and practicing with your unit, to be able to read the signals accurately. its not easy. ive been teaching it for a decade, mostly to boat owners, and it simply takes practice. no matter what unit you have, it takes practice to learn your way around the menus and setting and learn when to change settings to ensure the data on the screen is as accurate as it can be.
'but i just want a simple unit to show me where the fish are. i dont want all that other crap'. well, when someone makes a unit that is simple enough to just show me where the fish are, i'll be standing in line to buy two of 'em.

with regard to the brands, i certainly have my bias. sorry, but i do. i try not to push my brand, but i will tell you i do love the equipment. while garmin makes great gps technology, they are still a few steps behind in sounder technology. sorry, thats just how it is. if you want a simple unit, just for depth and a few obvious reflectors, its not a bad choice.
as far as the brands other than navico/simrad/lowrance--how many humminbird units have you ever seen on a commercial boat, an offshore boat, a sport fisher, an open ocean sail boat or other high end vessel? it has nothing to do with the size of the display--everyone makes a big display. it has everything to do with the technology in the box. and if that technology is available for my kayak, that's what i want to use.

cheers.
drew

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